The Arsenal top four train continues at speed as the season closes out. Reading came to the Emirates with a new manager, but certainly didn’t come armed with a new attitude. Yesterday, Arsenal made light work of a team who really lacked any redeeming features.
The game got off to a flying start despite us being without Diaby, Wilshere and Theo Walcott. Gervinho slotted into the starting which also saw starts for Rosicky and Ramsey. The opening goal was started by the Ivorian who played in to Giroud, he fed it outwide to Cazorla who fired what looked like a wide shot across the box which Gervinho managed to angle into the goal with a well timed run.
A great start. The game continued with much Arsenal domination, the only thing we lacked was a finish. Gervinho was having one of those all too familiar days where he couldn’t quite shake a shot out from under his boots. One of the worst examples was when he powered through on goal with some great skill and duffed his shot without any real pressure wide of the post.
Giroud was unlucky not to be awarded a penalty late in the half when ex-Arsenal man Stuart Taylor totalled him in the box.
The second half was a bit more fun, our finishing came back and Reading really didn’t know how to handle us at points. Our first of 3 more goals game after some good work around the edge of the box from the team, Gervinho teed up Cazorla who struck a peach of a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area. He really is a class apart. A dream to watch when he’s firing on all cylinders.
Reading had a couple of half chances. That Russian with the long name was through on goal but denied by a super challenge from Koscielny. There was also a good save from Fabianski from a Pearce volley. We made the game safe though when Gervinho picked up a Reading corner, raced into there half… waited 15 minutes for Giroud to join the party, then slipped the Frenchman in for a first time low drive past Taylor.
We couldn’t keep our clean sheet record going, Hal Robson-Kanu nodded in a cross towards the end. Monreal damaged a leg trying to tackle our post.
We finished the afternoon when Chamberlain was awarded a penalty after being chopped down in the box. Arteta made no mistake and buried it with a cool finish.
The game finished 4-1 to Arsenal.
The Top Four Run In…
So the race for top four supremacy is still wide open. We’ve got to win our game in hand to keep the pressure on Spurs, but if that happens and Chelsea do the same there’s only 2 points between us all. I don’t need to tell you that we’re right in the mixer. Interestingly, all the infighting at Chelsea seems to be having an extremely negative impact on their success this season. The squad they have is outrageous. The output has been awful. The great thing is that both teams have European games to worry about. We’ll be fresher, which could prove invaluable over the next few weeks.
He gets hammered every week at the ground and I feel for him. He certainly hasn’t lived up to his billing, but we have to give credit where it’s due. He was the only one who looked interested up front yesterday and he was the only one causing problems. I barely noticed Giroud was on the pitch until the second half. Sure, he’s not the greatest and he misses terribly easy chances… but as fans, we can’t start groaning and face palming after 35 seconds. That’s not going to help him out. He played well yesterday and he contributed.
The little Spaniard has come into his own over the past few weeks. He was all over the place yesterday, his fast train of thought and his ability to craft out space all over the pitch makes us a really dangerous side. He looks like he’s really enjoying his football at the moment. Yesterday I thought he was exceptional.
I know it was only Reading we were playing yesterday, but you have to say Aaron looks a different beast when he’s being playing in position. He’s not particularly dangerous but he covers a lot of ground and he gets in the way. He’s started to release the ball quicker and his confidence is certainly growing.
It was nice to see the Rocastle tribute during the game yesterday. The club helped out by putting his image on the big screen and the Reading fans were very respectful of the moment. Moments like that make you proud to be a gooner..
Right, those be my words for the day. Happy Easter, see you in the comments!